A Writing Exercise - Brainstorming

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That's it, half-term is over and the boys are back at school. Although I wasn't looking forward to the break it turned out to be rather entertaining. I am glad to be back to normal routines now though and I'm having a great week so far.

Writing Bubble

Although no actual writing got done I came up with a writing exercise that will prove useful. Last week while Skylanders stormed the sofa and Lego scattered the carpet I managed a brainstorming session. With my notepad in hand I thought about everything you would include in a scene. I started with one word; beach.

BEACH

I put myself on the beach and thought about what I could see, smell, hear, taste, and touch. Still brainstorming I wrote ideas down and filled a page in my notebook. My next step was to consider my emotional state (on the beach), was I happy and relaxed or sad and stressed? I chose sad and wrote more ideas in my notebook. 

After an hour of brainstorming I wrote a short passage containing snippets of all my ideas. That's where I stopped but I plan to go back and analyse it more later. Add in more emotions, description and context. 

I didn't do this for any particular reason but haven't analysed my own writing in this way before. I found it eye-opening and learned a lot in a short time. It also made me realise this would be a useful tool when I come around to editing my novel. Using this kind of brainstorming session could really help with making my characters seem more real. Obviously I'm still on the drafting stage but the editing has always been daunting because I didn't have a plan. Now I do. 

Right now I'm sat in my room, typing this post. Music plays softly in the background and my fingers are hammering the keys on the keyboard. I'll occasionally pick up my coffee cup and take a sip but my enthusiasm for this work is enough that I sometimes forget my coffee is there!

New steps, learning new skills and becoming the me I was supposed to be is what's making me happy. I love this writing malarkey!

What did you do over half-term?
Do you have a process to learn more about your characters?


Mama and More

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14 comments:

  1. Ooooh that's a fab idea to get into the zone of writing content, will definitely have to remember this one when I start working on my novel.

    Glad you had a good half term xx #whatimwriting

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    1. Thanks hun. It's really opened my eyes to the possibilities and I intend using it a lot more!

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  2. Fab liberating writing exercise, have you read Dorethea Brande's Becoming a Writer, it's my all time favoruite writing book and one I always return to. Morning notes, her invention really help get me in the mood for writing, cure writer's block and make writing easier. #allaboutyou

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    1. I haven't read that but I intend to now, thanks for telling me about it. Anything that aids the writing process is always on my list. Thanks xx

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  3. I find most of my best ideas come when I'm not actually sitting at the keyboard ironically. It's when I'm walking to school, or in the middle of the night or chatting to my children and something pops into my head. I really like being able to jot it down though and record it as quickly as I can before it gets lost amongst the other detritus in my head!
    On the one hand I will miss my litre boy terribly when he starts school in September, but on the other, I'm looking forward to having some real time to focus too-activities like the one you describe will be something I intend to try :)

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    1. I think that's just par for the course when you're a writer. Those ideas pop into your head at the most inopportune times! Getting them down as quickly as you can is key.

      Yes, it'll be hard when your boy starts school but know that he'll love it. And you can focus on writing a little more. You'll both love it! Let me know how you get on with the activity, I'd love to hear it. xx

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  4. Great idea Morgan - sounds like it really worked for you! It's lovely to hear how enthused you are about writing too, it's great way to be. Glad you had a good half term - I did too although it's nice to have a more peaceful house again now they're back at school! Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting xx

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    1. I'm with you on the peaceful house! It's lovely to be able to sit in front of the computer with a coffee by my side and know I won't be interrupted for a few hours! I have surprised myself with my enthusiasm recently, it keeps me going and I think this is the longest it has lasted. I'm sure that evil self-doubt demon is hiding somewhere but I'm prepared! ;)

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  5. Great idea for an exercise and during this cold spell, what better place to put yourself than on a beach (although you were sad when you were there, so maybe not!). It's great when you do something that really brings home why you love writing so much.

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    1. That beach was lovely, just thinking about those crashing waves and the heat of the sun made me feel good. The sadness was just a twist and made me think a little harder about what I wanted to portray in the scene. I think the best bit about this exercise was it taught me to love the editing as well as the draft writing. It is possible, just difficult! :)

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  6. I often forget my coffee is there too! I think brainstorming is great for getting your brain out of a rut, finding a new approach or starting a new project. And it's a good idea to keep it simple as you have - a good exercise to boost creativity.

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  7. Oh Morgan, this is so true. What you said about learning new things, discovering a new you - it's a lot like the yoga journey you learn so much about the steps you take along the way, and that's almost worth more than the final goal! Sounds like an amazing exercise. Thanks so much for linking to #AllAboutYou xxx

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    1. Thank you Zaz, it's amazing the things we can learn about ourselves with a little exploration. :)

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